Why Leeds United must make a move for Luke Freeman this summer
Back in January, The Sun journalist Alan Nixon (h/t Leeds Live) had claimed that Leeds United were interested in signing Sheffield United midfielder Luke Freeman. However, no deal materialised during the winter transfer window.
Luke Freeman, 27, who registered 7 goals and 6 assists in 43 appearances for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship last season, won the Player of the Season award at Loftus Road before departing to join newly-promoted side Sheffield United in the Premier League.
However, things haven’t gone according to the plan since his switch to Bramall Lane, with the midfielder starting just three out of nine Premier League games.
John Lundstram and January signing Sander Berge have been preferred ahead of Freeman in Chris Wilder’s midfield three. This has limited him to just 14 appearances across all competitions for the Blades this season.
Meanwhile, Leeds United are on top of the Championship table having won their last five league games. This has seen them bounce back from a wretched start to 2020. With just nine games remaining, the Whites will be raring to end their 16-year long hiatus and achieve promotion once the Championship resumes.
Bielsa should bring in some changes to the squad before the start of the new campaign regardless of their league status. One key area that needs to be addressed is the attack.
Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw, Mateusz Klich, Jamie Shackleton and Mateusz Bogusz are the only attack-minded midfielders available at the manager’s disposal. However, only Klich has performed regularly in the campaign.
Forshaw has spent the majority of the campaign on the sidelines with a hip problem, managing just seven appearances. Shackleton has played a bit-part role, while Hernandez has endured an inconsistent campaign and will turn 35 in April.
Thus, it won’t be a bad idea for Bielsa to add a versatile attacker to his squad. And Luke Freeman would be a good fit at Elland Road.
Freeman hasn’t hit the heights expected from him at Sheffield United but he’s actually got a taste of Premier League football that should make him stronger next season. At QPR last season, he showed his quality and was a menace for every single team in the Championship.
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Basically an attacking midfielder by trade, the 27-year-old is adept at playing out wide on either flank and also through the middle in a No.10 role, meaning that he could possibly provide some quality cover and competition in multiple areas across the pitch.
He has an impressive tally of 18 goals and 29 assists in 163 career appearances in the Championship and while the attacker might have struggled to cut the teeth in the Premier League, Freeman remains a proven creative player at this level.
With Hernandez ageing and Forshaw enduring a tough time with injury this season, Leeds would be wise to invest on Freeman before the 2020/21 season starts.